Something is happening in Norway
February 5, 2020 2:28 PM   Subscribe

Researchers are no longer in doubt: Global warming has begun to make Norway warmer and wetter. [Visual storyboard showing the impacts of climate change in Norway.]
posted by roolya_boolya (25 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm sure there will be plenty of jerks out there touting this sort of thing as a "benefit" of climate change.

But it's all fun and games until the thermohaline conveyor stops.
posted by tclark at 2:40 PM on February 5 [8 favorites]


And it's all the fault of the jötnar.
posted by linux at 2:43 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]


One of the interesting things I learned about Norway is how the country looks a lot newer and more American than most European countries, and that this is because it is so prone to landslides that homes and towns have less of an expected lifespan.

A warmer and wetter Norway is going to be bad news to a lot of Norwegians living downhill from land formations that need to not be lubricated.
posted by ocschwar at 2:57 PM on February 5 [9 favorites]


Well that was depressing.
posted by odinsdream at 2:58 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


Related, and complicated: The Bittersweet Bounty Of Greenland's First Spring (Michael Paterniti for GQ)
All over Greenland, change had come at the pace of global warming itself. During 2019 alone, 329 billion tons of ice would melt, grazing grounds for wild and domesticated animals increased, and the south popped with flora not seen since Viking days and Erik the Red. Heating bills were down, supply ships arrived more often, tourists flocked (up from roughly 4,000 in 1993 to about 100,000 in 2018), leaving their huge carbon footprints but supporting a burgeoning hospitality industry replete with new restaurants.

The rush of cultural change was exacerbating old anxieties too—reviving questions about the island's identity and raising new calls for greater sovereignty. While Greenland's head of state is the Danish monarch, currently Margrethe II, and Denmark technically controls the territory—in particular its external policies and security—Greenland was granted home rule in 1979. Today the Danish government pumps more than $500 million in annual subsidies into Greenland, a fact that most Greenlanders acknowledge as key to their survival. The history between the island and Denmark is complicated and blurry, and the social scars run deep. For years, too, the Danes have stocked Greenlandic markets with Danish food, changing the eating habits of Greenlanders, separating them—sometimes alienating them, as Inu said—from their local cornucopia.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:00 PM on February 5 [3 favorites]


I was in Norway this past May. It was sweltering and I got a terrible sunburn. Not what I was expecting from Norwegian weather... interesting to hear it was the hottest May on record.
posted by mollywas at 3:21 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]


Just wanted to say that is a fantastic use of media.
posted by zardoz at 3:44 PM on February 5 [12 favorites]


Norway is an incredibly wealthy country, with a massive sovereign fund built from the extraction and sale of crude oil. Fossil fuel consumption is the main cause of the climate crisis, and yet, unless I missed it, there appears little or no mention in this piece about Norway's role in that. That seems like a glaring omission, no?
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:03 PM on February 5 [12 favorites]


Brains, I think the article was very careful to not talk about causes, but only to talk about effect.

For people who perhaps believe the "theory" of climate change is a lie, but love their country.
posted by rebent at 4:28 PM on February 5


That seems like a glaring omission, no?

Their hands are far from clean as far as dragging dinosaur bones from the earth and belching them into the sky, but Norway has accounted for about 2 per cent and 3 percent of global oil and gas production, respectively. So it's far from being the world's biggest contributor from that standpoint, but it's still part of the equation since that's been an tremendous economic boon, as they're a huge net exporter.

But unlike my country (Canada), they had the foresight to plow oil and gas royalties into a sovereign wealth fund, which allows for more flexibility at this point. My country at large has shit the bed on this, but we are now demanding unlimited fresh linens and laxatives: When it comes to climate hypocrisy, Canada's leaders have reached a new low : A territory that has 0.5% of the Earth’s population plans to use up nearly a third of the planet’s remaining carbon budget.

This part was pretty interesting, and I guess was as deeply worrisome as anything else:

This landscape has been covered by large mounds for several hundred years. The mounds consisted of frozen bog water.

But something is wrong. The landscape here is almost completely flat.


Ill harbingers.

In a bog-related vein, Finland's domestic peat fuel industry, which is still used in a certain percentage of power generation, was the focus of this short BBC radio documentary:

Finland's race to go carbon neutral
The Finnish fisherman who believes he has a solution to climate change: battling the peat extraction industry and re-wilding peat fields. But can he overcome vested interests?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:36 PM on February 5 [11 favorites]


"Just wanted to say that is a fantastic use of media."

It is exquisite.
posted by bz at 6:45 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


One of the most compelling presentations I've seen about global warming.
posted by rmmcclay at 10:30 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


I like the format as well, I just wish it didn't make my computer grind to a halt :(

It can be a bit difficult to make people care about climate change in places where people wouldn't mind if it got a little bit warmer (I see a lot of this attitude here in Denmark). I liked that the piece acknowledged that some of the changes can be seen as positive while also pointing out that even the positive changes have some bad consequences in them.
posted by maskd at 2:05 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Such an exquisite rendering of their research during the year of chasing the changes. Thanks for posting!
posted by honey-barbara at 4:44 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Yes, that was amazing to scroll through. Thank you for posting!
posted by hilaryjade at 5:20 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


I was impressed with the calm and logical tone of this post describing a such a remarkable event. No accusations or blame, just the observations and their local effects. I appreciated this so much. Even climate deniers would really have to take pause that climate change has dramatic effects that ripple, given evidence just like this, even if they say fluctuations are normal and not man made, which is the argument I generally hear. At least we can talk about this, I think, both sides could have a conversation about this sort of thing.
posted by waving at 6:24 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]


Sad/glad to be in my seventies. And ashamed of my legacy.
posted by anadem at 7:19 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]


Really? I hated the design so much that I couldn't finish the article. I grieve for both the planet and the internet.
posted by mississippi at 7:50 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


But unlike my country (Canada), they had the foresight to plow oil and gas royalties into a sovereign wealth fund, which allows for more flexibility at this point. My country at large has shit the bed on this, but we are now demanding unlimited fresh linens and laxatives: When it comes to climate hypocrisy, Canada's leaders have reached a new low : A territory that has 0.5% of the Earth’s population plans to use up nearly a third of the planet’s remaining carbon budget.

Not to defend the government of your country and mine, but Justin Trudeau is caught between a rock and a hard place. If he continues his present course, he will be justifiably condemned for not doing enough about climate change. But if he tries to do more about climate change, he risks losing power to the Conservatives, who plan on doing SFA about climate change and using up even more of the Earth's remaining carbon budget.

Sadly, because of Canada's antiquated "first past the post" electoral system, parties that take climate change seriously are unelectable here.

It can be a bit difficult to make people care about climate change in places where people wouldn't mind if it got a little bit warmer (I see a lot of this attitude here in Denmark).

We see even more of it in Canada, especially since one of the short-term consequences of climate change is that polar Arctic air is spreading southward, making our winters often become colder than normal. It's a cruel quirk of fate that the part of the world that is most responsible for climate change is one of the coldest parts of it. Talk about a tough midterm exam for humanity...
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 8:05 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]


> That seems like a glaring omission, no?

Outside of an ad hominem attack on the photo essay or something, I don't see why Norway's usage of natural resources matters. Global warming is happening, as starkly illustrated here, whether or not Norway's hands are spotless in this matter.

I am sure similar photo pieces can be done the whole world over, which doesn't give me hope for the future.
posted by fragmede at 8:18 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]



But unlike my country (Canada), they had the foresight to plow oil and gas royalties into a sovereign wealth fund, which allows for more flexibility at this point.


At the instigation of an Iraqi man living in Oslo, BTW
posted by ocschwar at 9:30 AM on February 6


But if he tries to do more about climate change, he risks losing power to the Conservatives, who plan on doing SFA about climate change and using up even more of the Earth's remaining carbon budget.

Not to make this all about Canada but they've already had that election and everyone who would vote for oil and gas extraction already voted for the Conservatives. At this point it would be an electoral gain for him to go fully green but I think he is truly worried about the loss of jobs/hit to the economy which is why his government is taking such a muddled position with respect to climate change.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:21 AM on February 6


Gorgeous development of the Snowfall web storytelling design.

In terms of content: a shuddering stream of mutations. Very useful, sobering.
posted by doctornemo at 4:26 PM on February 6


From the story:

"The only solution was to send dozens of animals to the slaughterhouse. Mother Linda realized this as early as June.

"But she hesitated at the laptop for months. It was too painful to hit 'send' and deliver the message to the butcher. Part of the reason was because Linda and the children were so fond of the cows. Each of them have [sic] a name, and some of them have gotten a place of honor on the kitchen cabinets."

Others have gotten a place of honor in the family's freezer.
posted by bcarter3 at 6:38 PM on February 6


Layout works really well on mobile.

Content works really badly on general hope for the future.
posted by MattWPBS at 1:44 PM on February 7


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